Nicola Sturgeon has condemned anti-vax campaigners, saying they are guilty of “anti-social behaviour” that puts others at risk.

The First Minister said that campaigners who spread disinformation about the covid vaccination programme were not helping overcome the crisis.

Sturgeon spoke out after a weekend of demonstrations across the UK led by anti-vax campaigners, including one in London where former nurse Kate Shemirani likened NHS nurses and doctors to Nazis executed after World War Two.

Asked at the Scottish Government covid briefing if she would describe people who opposed vaccination as “anti-social” Sturgeon issued a hard warning while encouraging people who were uncertain about vaccination to get credible information.

She said: “I’ll be blunt, if you’re an anti-vaxer who’s going around deliberately spreading misinformation about this vaccine then, yes, I would accuse you of anti-social behaviour because you’re putting people at risk by doing that.”

“I would ask you to think very carefully about that if you did it deliberately, or if you’re just blithely retweeting or sharing on social media, information about the vaccine that has no basis in evidence or facts then you’re not helping at all. In fact you are doing the opposite of helping.”

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The FM combined the message with an appeal to those who have reservations about getting vaccinations.

She added: “ “But if you’re somebody who is genuinely worried about vaccination because you might be reading some of this stuff, then I would say to you, please just take a bit of time to find out the facts about the vaccine.”

“There are lots of sources of credible information online, or turn up a a drop-in vaccination centre even if you haven’t finally decided you’re going to get the jag in your arm.”

“I’m not going to criticise people who’ve got genuine concerns, but I will not stop to encourage you to educate yourself about the vaccine and come forward and get vaccinated.”